Imagine checking into an old brick building, exchanging your bags for a glass of rose from a local winery, and being whisked away into the atmosphere of the French countryside. Surely I must be speaking of some small chateau nestled in the Loire Valley of France, surrounded by rolling hills and sunflower fields for hours. Try again.
Yountville, California strikes again. Sure Napa is great for shopping and Saint Helena known for boutiques, but Yountville is where the good stuff is at. It boasts the best of all worlds. Luxury eating and fine accommodations. With some of the best restaurants in the valley within earshot of each other along with the iconic Auberge du Soleil and Bardessono just down the street.
As much as we would love to eat at French Laundry and stay at the Auberge every time we enter the 707, ya just can't. Bed and breakfasts are a sure gamble but this one seemed worth the roll of the dice. Maison Fleurie and Lavender Inn are sister properties just off the main street of Yountville. Unfortunately the Maison was sold out so we had a room at the Lavender, however staying at the Lavender allowed you to use all the amenities of the Maison. The old charming b & b had a warm welcome, the entry was adorable and each room carefully decorated. The pool a bit out dated, but none the less you could bring a bottle of wine and sun bathe in their chaises. I find with travel, the expectations have to be set, it's a b&b so it is not like a hotel where everything is standardized. Each room has its own quirks and not all aspects of the property are "hotel" standards. But for my husband and I it was still the perfect romantic getaway.
The b&b had adorable bikes to use while you were there, one day we took them through the rolling hills surrounded by vineyards. In the afternoon, an hors d''oeuvres is set up with wines and cheeses. In the morning an array of breakfast plates to choose from. It felt as if you were staying at someone's personal house.
With being foodies, most of the day is set up around which new restaurant we are going to try. Of course the morning starts with Bouchon, there is no other way to start the day. A perfect pain au chocolat and cafe au lait. Lunches were scattered as I couldn't miss an ounce of sun in this rare opportunity for it to be warmer then 70 degrees.
Dinner. Italian two nights in a row is only acceptable when on a vacation, so when in Rome. The first night for our anniversary dinner, we headed to the Redd Wood at the end of the street for some urban retro eats. The food was fantastic. Burrata made to perfection, pasta cooked perfectly and that thin crust pizza the Italians always master. I would eat here again.
The last night, of course how could you not crave the caesar piadine from Tre Vigne Pizzeria? So driving the opposite direction to Saint Helena, that is exactly where we went. This is a childhood favorite and a staple of every visit to the valley.
Yountville will always be a first choice for a weekend getaway; simply for the magical views of vineyards, the indulgence of fine dining and romantic accommodations.